Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a mineral found in red meat, dairy foods, fish, poultry, bread, rice and oats.

How much do I need?

You should be able to get all the phosphorus you need from your daily diet. Adults need 550 mg a day.

What does it do?

Phosphorus has many important roles in the body. For example it:

  • helps build strong bones and teeth
  • helps release the energy from the food we eat

What happens if I take too much?

Taking high doses of phosphorus supplements for a short time can cause diarrhoea or stomach pain.

Taking high doses for a long time can reduce the amount of calcium in the body, which means bones are more likely to fracture.

What is our advice?

You should be able to get all the phosphorus you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. But if you decide to take phosphorus supplements it's important not to take too much because this could be harmful.

Taking 250 mg or less of phosphorus supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.

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